Although traffic can be terrible around Los Angeles, riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating way to enjoy the open roads. Whether you prefer a Harley or Ducati, a bike can provide access to places a car cannot, as well as the opportunity to get somewhere faster.

However, even though helmets are required while riding a motorcycle in California, more than 5,000 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents in 2017. Considering how common lane splitting is, you must be concerned about keeping your focus on the road regardless of the type of vehicle you are driving. Even if you have no personal interest in riding a motorcycle and feel safer inside your Mercedes, it is important to consider things you can do to help protect yourself and those around you.

How you can make the roadways safer

According to the Smith System, there are five keys you should implement while driving. No matter which road you are on or the kind of vehicle you drive, there are certain things you can do to increase safety while driving. These include:

  • Anticipate what other drivers will do – Looking down the road can alert you to incidents ahead, which may alter your course of action. Keep in mind that other drivers may not be as aware of what is happening up in front of you.
  • Be alert about what is going on around your vehicle – Remember to use your rearview and side mirrors. This can help prevent surprises coming up from behind or alongside you.
  • Do not lock your eyes in one position – Keep looking around you while driving. In so doing, you can remain alert and possibly anticipate the moves other vehicles might make.
  • Provide options for yourself – Keep space around your vehicle as best you can. Although many unanticipated things happen while driving, you can help avoid a collision if you have room to move out of the way in response to something that happens around you.
  • Signal your intentions and safety problems clearly – Whether this includes using your turn signal or hazards, do everything within your power to communicate what your upcoming move will be or alert others of an emergency situation.

In general, driving a motorcycle includes more elements of danger than a family or passenger vehicle, to be sure. However, to make the roads safer for all involved, you must drive defensively regardless of your chosen vehicle.